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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  January 6, 2015 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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01/06/15 01/06/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica this is democracy now. >> they're going to have to answer for themselves whether or not elevating summit who describes himself as david duke without the baggage is a reinforcement of the kind of message they want to project. >> as the 114th congress kicks off in washington, republican house majority whip steve scalise of louisiana admits he once addressed a white supremacist organization founded by former klan leader david duke.
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we will speak to mark potok of the southern poverty law center. then to narcoland. >> now in mexico, there many, many under the control of things -- ganga that kidnap people and extort people and now mexico is a very dangerous safe place. >> >> as president obama hosts mexican president pena nieto at the white house, we speak to a mexican journalist living in exile who just exposed how federal police in mexico were involved in the disappearance of 43 students in iguala, guerrero. we will speak to anabel hernandez. first, we go to boston where jury selection has begin in the trial of accused boston marathon bomber dzhokhar tsarnaev. all that and more, coming up.
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welcome to democracy now democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the new u.s. congress convenes today with republicans in control of both houses for the first time in eight years. republicans now have 246 seats in the house, their largest majority in nearly 70 years. the new congress is also more diverse than ever before, with a record 104 women, including utah representative mia love, the first black republican woman in congress. women still make up only 20% of lawmakers, while people of color make up only about 18%. at the top of the republican agenda is a push to approve the keystone xl oil pipeline, with lawmakers in both houses expected to file measures in favor of the project today. tens of thousands of people have rallied against racism across germany amidst a rise in anti-muslim protests.
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on monday, the latest rally by the anti-immigrant group pegida, which stands for patriotic europeans against the islamization of the west, drew a record 18,000 people in dresden. the city's landmark cologne cathedral in dresden shut off its lights, leaving the surrounding square in darkness in an bid to deter the protesters. in the central african nation of burundi, more than 100 rebels have reportedly been killed following days of heavy clashes with the army. the military says the rebels entered the country from the neighboring democratic republic of congo. the news comes as united nations and congolese forces say they have launched strikes against a burundian rebel group based in the eastern congolese borderlands. in guatemala, the trial of former dictator efrain rios montt on genocide charges has been delayed shortly after it resumed following a two-year pause. in 2013, the former u.s.-backed military dictator was sentenced
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to 80 years in prison for genocide and crimes against humanity for the mass killing of ixil mayans in the 1980's. but a court annuled the verdict two weeks later. rios montt, who is 88, appeared in court monday on a stretcher covered with a blanket after he lost a bid to be excused on medical grounds. the retrial was postponed after his attorneys accused one of the judges of bias. same-sex couples are getting married across florida today after a series of court decisions which culminated in a state judge's decision to lift a temporary ban on the unions. after lifting the ban, judge sarah zabel presided over two weddings, including one between plaintiffs cathy pareto and karla arguello. >> we have been together for 15 years and it just means now that our family is recognized like every other family. that our love is just as good enough as everybody else's, and that our sun is finally going to have a family that is not a
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second-class citizen. he is a family like everyone else that deserves the same respect in the same dignity as everyone else. >> >> as many as 14 counties in florida have opted to end all courthouse weddings rather than conduct weddings for same-sex couples. florida is the 36 state to allow same-sex marriage. "new york times" investigative reporter james risen has appeared in court and refused to answer questions about his alleged source. the hearing in virginia took place ahead of the trial of former cia officer jeffrey sterling, who is accused of giving risen classified information, which revealed a botched cia plot to disrupt iran's nuclear program. risen has waged a seven-year legal battle against the obama administration's attempts to subpoena him and force him to reveal his source. it's unclear if risen will be forced to testify at sterling's trial. james risen's hearing comes as
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the administration has backed off on a threat to subpoena another journalist, "60 minutes producer" richard bonin, at a trial over bombings by al-qaeda. "the new york times" reports the u.s. attorney in manhattan preet bharara, has withdrawn his recommendation to subpoena bonin over interactions with al-qaeda's press office during a bid to interview osama bin laden in 1998. california governor jerry brown has been sworn in for an unprecedented fourth term with a sweeping plan to address climate change. in his inaugural speech, governor brown said california must lead the way if the world is to limit global warming to two degrees celsius. >> i propose three ambitious goals to be accomplished within the next 15 years. first, increase from one third to 50% our electricity derived from renewable sources. [applause] two, and even more difficult
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reduce today's petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50%. three, double the efficiency of existing buildings. >> u.s. oil prices have briefly dropped below $50 a barrel for the first time in nearly six years. the drop in prices comes amidst a boom in oil production inside the united states spurred by the rise of the drilling process known as fracking, which environmentalists say raises dire health and safety concerns. in new york city, two police officers have been shot and wounded while pursuing suspects in an armed robbery in the bronx. the shooting comes as new york city police have continued their work stoppage following the fatal shootings of two officers last month. according to "the new york times" arrests have been down by more than half over the past week while parking and traffic tickets were down more than 90% over the same period the previous year. the police are protesting the mayor's comments on police
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brutality and racial profiling. on monday, the mayor addressed the decision by hundreds of police officers to turn our backs to him at the funeral further slain colleagues. he called their actions disrespectful. >> they were disrespectful to the families involved. that is the bottom line. they were disrespect poll to the families -- disrespectful to the families who lost a loved one. i cannot understand why anyone would do such a thing in the context like that. i think it defies a lot of what we all feel is the right and do something to do when you're dealing with a family in pain. i also think there were disrespectful to the people of the city, who, in fact, honor the work of the nypd. >> a judge in new york has agreed to consider unsealing documents from the secret grand jury that decided not to indict officer daniel pantaleo for the chokehold killing of unarmed african american eric garner. garner's family, the new york civil liberties union, public
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advocate letitia james and "the new york post" have all pushed for the records to be released. new york state supreme court justice william garnett agreed to hear their arguments on january 29. demonstrators have also vowed to resume weekly demonstrations over garner's death after a pause following the murder of two new york city police officers last month. in missouri, a member of the grand jury that declined to indict ferguson police officer darren wilson for fatally shooting unarmed african american michael brown is suing for the right to speak publicly about the case. the lawsuit accuses prosecuting attorney bob mcculloch of presenting possible charges to the grand jury in a "muddled and untimely manner," and notes the case had a "stronger focus on the victim" -- michael brown -- than other cases. it also accuses mcculloch of publicly misrepresenting the grand jury's views, challenging "he implication that all grand jurors believed that there was no support for any charges" against wilson.
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the juror is challenging a lifetime ban preventing grand jury members from discussing cases. a new undercover investigation has revealed inhumane and potentially illegal treatment of chickens at a slaughter plant in butterfield, minnesota. the undercover video filmed at butterfield foods marks the first-ever exposé at a slaughter plant for so-called "spent" hens, egg-laying chickens who spend their lives in cages, and are sent to be killed once they are no longer deemed profitable. paul shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection described the group's findings in a phone call with reporters. >> what we found at butterfield is truly sickening. perhaps most horrifying as many birds at butterfield are scalded alive, killed by drowning while fully conscious intakes of hot water. these hands are cold cadavers by the u.s. department of agriculture and red birds by the industry because the color of their skin turns red from blood
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rushing to the surface because their hearts are still beating and submerged in these tanks. >> a petition to ban so-called conversion therapy for transgender people has received nearly 300,000 signatures on change.org following the suicide late last month of leelah alcorn. alcorn was a 17-year-old transgender woman who walked into traffic after leaving a suicide note describing how she suffered from conversion therapy and attempts by her christian parents to change her. she wrote -- "my death needs to mean something. my death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year. fix society, please." the inspector general of the cia, david buckley, who presided over an investigation in how the cia hacked the computers of senate staffers investigating the agency's torture program, will resign at the end of the month. the cia said buckley would leave his post after more than four years to take a job in the private sector. and those are some of the headlines, this is democracy
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now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with aaron mate. >> welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. one of the most high-profile federal trials in decades is underway. on monday, jury selection began in the case of "the u.s. vs. dzhokhar tsarnaev," the alleged boston marathon bomber. tsarnaev, who is 21 years old, is accused of planting bombs that killed three people and wounded more than 260. it was the nation's worst bombing since the oklahoma city attack of 1995. tsarnaev is also charged for the ensuing events, when he and his brother tamerlan allegedly shot dead a police officer and sparked a citywide manhunt. tamerlan died after a firefight with police. dzhokhar tsarnaev faces 30 counts, more than half carrying the death penalty. jury selection will take several weeks followed by a trial of up to five months. survivors and victims' families are expected to attend. heather abbott, who lost her
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left leg below the knee, said the trial will be difficult, but also a healing process for the victims. >> i expect it to be emotional. i'm sure it is not going to be an easy time, but for me, it is something i want to at least experience attending -- i think just for some sort of peace of mind, to see the person who changed my life forever. i have become close with many of the other bombing victims particularly, the amputees. to be able to support each other through this time will be important. >> that's boston marathon bombing survivor heather abbott. but as victims like her and the wider boston community search for closure, concerns around due process could prolong the case for years. >> ahead of the trial, dzhokhar tsarnaev's attorneys unsuccessfully tried to move the proceedings out of state, saying their client can't receive a fair trial in the city where the bombing occurred. the defense cited the case of
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oklahoma city bomber timothy mcveigh, whose trial was moved out of state. but over the weekend, a divided federal appeals court rejected the defense's motion. federal prosecutors are also seeking the death penalty in a state where executions are barred. that is massachusetts. that will mean harsh constraints on the jury pool, ruling out anyone who opposes capital punishment. defense lawyers have also unsuccessfully argued they haven't had enough time to pour over thousands of newly-released government documents. there's also the matter of dzhokhar tsarnaev's arrest. at the time, authorities used a public safety exception to delay reading him his miranda rights to remain silent and to have an attorney present, a move that sparked controversy. it was before he was read his rights that he reportedly admitted to a role in the bombings. all of these issues could come up on appeal, a possibility that may keep this case in the courts for a long time to come. for more on the boston marathon bombing trial and its due
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process concerns, we are joined by carol rose, executive director of the american civil liberties union of massachusetts. her article headlined "tsarnaev trial will test what it means to be 'boston strong" was published on monday. carol rose, welcome to democracy now! can you talk about the climate right now in boston and your major concerns about this trial? >> i think the key here is whether this is going to be a trial about vengeance or a trial about justice. are we going to be ruled by our values or our fears? the climate in boston is a media circus, as you can imagine. sort of 24/7 around this trial is where everybody's focus is, just as it was wherever once focus was during the lock down, the shelter in place order they came out in the days immediately following the bombing. and that is one of the reasons the aclu and others have a lot of concerns about the due process to whether there can in fact be a fundamentally fair
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trial. for dzhokhar tsarnaev. this isn't just a test or trial of his guilt or innocence, it is really a test of whether we as americans are going to let people who use violence shake us from our values, shake us from our commitment to due process, the phenomenal fairness in the american system of justice. i think that is what is at stake right now. >> carol let's go to your concerns. talk about the death penalty in a state that bars capital punishment. >> massachusetts is a non-vets -- death penalty state. this is eric holder's decision to come in here and pursue a death penalty trial nonetheless. what that means is when you're trying to qualify jury, it has to be death certified. that means they will be asking every juror whether or not there opposed to the death penalty. if they are come a phenomenally opposed to the death penalty they will be kicked off the
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case. they cannot serve on the jury. what does that mean when you want to have a jury of your peers when you're in a state were in general the peers are a post of the death penalty, but we will have a jury that his death qualified? that is just one of the many due process concerns that have been raised -- >> carol rose, tell us what that means. who ends up being on a death penalty jury. who gets excluded and who gets included? >> there will be a series of questions asked of every juror. if a juror is a post of death penalty on religious grounds in all instances, you will not be on the jury. it will be the judge that makes a decision. it will not be the prosecutors having to use one of their challenge is to get the person of the jury -- >> in terms of population, for example, african-americans overwhelmingly against the death penalty, jews against the jump -- death penalty and women. who ends up on pro-death penalty juries? >> studies have shown you a far
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more -- the trial is bifurcated. there's the guilt phase and sentencing phase. studies have shown when you have a death qualified jury, and you and up having a lot more people who are likely to find them guilty in the guilt finding phase in addition to imposing the death penalty down the road. in this case, you're more likely to have a jury that only a finding of guilty, but also be willing to impose the death penalty than with a general representative jury that represents the people of massachusetts. >> the justice department announced he would pursue the death penalty in the zone of case last january. as we say, executions at the federal level are rare. attorney general eric holder explained in a statement saying --
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what were the government's options and do you see a political decision here in this decision to seek capital punishment? >> eric holder and carmen ortiz definitely have an alternative. they could have gone forward and proffered a plea deal to dzhokhar tsarnaev, for example it could've been life without the possibility of parole, life without appeal, you agree to be locked away forever and to do your time for your crime in exchange, no death penalty. the government never did that. they never offered that. and i think there are number of reasons. achilles speculate, but what people in the legal community are speculating is in fact this might be a chance for eric holder to show that article three federal court are capable of doing these terrorism trials, therefore, we don't need the military commissions in guantánamo. it could be the prosecutors want
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to be part of a high profile case and tap into the sense of tremendous anger and feeling of a desire for vengeance. it is very widespread in boston. people are really traumatized. that is one reason there's concern of getting a fair jury trial, the bias. also political reasons. if there had been a plea trial, the first part of the trial, guilt or innocence, would not happen. you'd only have the sentencing phase. during the sentencing phase when there has been a plea like that, in general, the defendant doesn't really talk. it is really about the survivors, those who come forward like the person we just heard from, to be able to tell their stories and talk about the healing process and move forward. when instead of prosecution chooses to pursue a death penalty trial, first, we have to reliveened and go through all of that, which can be very traumatizing for survivors.
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beyond that, during the sentencing phase, it is really going to be about dzhokhar tsarnaev about who he was influenced by, whether or not he did to any drugs, whether or not his big brother influenced him what a good guy he was at the high school. it is going to be about him, as it should be in those cases because it is his life on the line. it won't be about the survivors. therefore, is a real chance if you pursue this, you're going to create a martyr of dzhokhar tsarnaev among people who somehow decide he is the person they want to back and he could be an inspiration to people around the world would also use violence as a way to achieve their beings are make their statement and it really is a setback for what we as americans want, which is to move forward and have justice rather than vengeance. talks: rose, the issue of moving the venue? timothy mcveigh was not try to and oklahoma, but colorado? >> right. in the case, very similar
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the whole city is running area was really traumatized emotionally biased. and the judge in the case i think correctly said, you know, it is important that especially in these cases that are so political and high visibility that we as americans set the highest standards of due process, at least prove to people who use violence that we won't be do to from our values from our system of justice. we will go over and above to make sure there is a fair trial. that is why in the timothy mc a case, they moved it out of state. -- timothy mcveigh case, they moved it out of state. no doubt he got a fair trial. the concern is, if you don't do that here, there will be multiple issues of appeal, our perception either in the country and certain internationally that somehow dzhokhar tsarnaev did not get a fair trial and therefore, was going to be delayed in any execution and beyond that, we will be living with it for years to come and have the real bad danger of possibly turning the sky who is
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violent against so many people into a martyr. and that is a shame. >> to a skeptic who might say why is the aclu raising all these concerns around the rights of someone was most likely guilty, committed to a role in the bombing, what is your response? >> this isn't a trial about dzhokhar tsarnaev's guilt or innocence. i think most believe the evidence is overwhelming. this is a trial about whether we as americans are going to let people who use violence against a somehow shake us from our fundamental values, commitment to due process and for the mental fairness, to constitutional values. the aclu represents a constitution and the bill of rights as it applies to everyone. this trial is in about the bad guys, it is about americans that who we are. that is why the aclu cares. >> and the issue of miranda rights. how important is this? wins arnett made his confession -- when dzhokhar tsarnaev made his confession and when he was read the rights?
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>> yet another issue that will be on appeal i keep this case going for many years because there wasn't a plea bargain. i think the question of your rights after being arrested is usually important. the law in one case cannot be different in other cases. you can't be taken away by law enforcement and somehow coerced into saying something that you would not otherwise say because you don't have a lawyer present. so whether or not -- very few of us, certainly not me, like this particular guy, but we are talking about the principles and the law and the president's behind it. and we do care about those rights when they applied us, so it is important for number of the rights at issue are not just those of the cars are now, but every american. >> can you talk about the death of the chechen man who was shot dead by fbi agents in florida while being questioned about his
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ties to the boston marathon bombers? there are still unanswered questions about his death? >> a terminus amount of questions -- a tremendous amount of questions about the actions. immediately after the bombing the police announced suddenly they had decided to pin a longtime murder -- a triple homicide were three guys were killed a couple of years before the boston marathon bombing suddenly they said, oh, we found the guy who did it. they said the older brother tamerlan, initially said joe car was involved and then said, no it was tamerlan tsarnaev and uber him. the boston fbi and the boston makes state police went to interview him. they said in the course of writing his confession, he jumped at them or something happened and then they shot him
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dead. then they basically deported everybody who knew anything about the case, including his girlfriend. there is been no independent investigation of what happened, what really went down. this is a huge mystery about the role of uber him and the role of -- involvement in the shooting death. the hard drive for his computer was finally turned over to the defense team only two weeks ago along with about 9000 that the prosecution finally turned over. that is one of the reasons from the fundamental fairness and due process perspective the defense requested to have additional time to prepare for the trial. there are so many unanswered questions about the role of the police and the fbi in this shooting and the relationship of that to the dzhokhar tsarnaev trial. this trial will go on for many many months.
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there are a tremendous amount of unanswered questions. if the trial is going forward and we're not going to have a plea then at the minimum, we need to bend over backwards to make sure we have a fundamentally fair trial so that we can reuse this to really recommit or show a recommitment to our justice system rather than serve a rushed execution. >> in the case of's are never apart to be us friend who was convicted of lying to the fbi his attorney said they are going to appeal. where does that stand right now? >> that fits into this. there are number of people who knew jokers are net or had a relationship to him that have been rounded up by the police, by the prosecution, many of them who may or may not be called in the trial. fully boasts was convicted -- phillipos said he doesn't remember, so that was his lie. he was convicted -- i think his
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appeal, and my understanding it will be heard later on in this month. >> we want to thank you very much, carol rose, for joining us, the executive director of the american civil liberties union of massachusetts. her article headlined "tsarnaev trial will test what it means to be 'boston strong" was published monday on wbur's website. the npr station in boston. we will have a link at democracynow.org. when we come back, we look at the 114th congress. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> played by nina simone. this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with aaron maté. >> as congress begins its new session today, one of its top republicans has acknowledged he once addressed a gathering of white supremacists and neo-nazis. house majority whip steve scalise has confirmed reports he spoke at a 2002 convention of euro -- the european-american unity and rights organization. euro is founded by david duke a former kkk leader and perhaps the country's most notorious white supremacist. scalise was serving as a louisiana state representative at the time. the news was first reported last month by law student lamar white junior, on the website cenlamar.com. scalise told the new orleans times-picayune he does not recall the conference and -- "didn't know who all of these groups were for anyone to suggest i was involved with a group like that is insulting and ludicrous."
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scalise did apologize for his speech saying -- "it was a mistake i regret, and i emphatically oppose the divisive racial and religious views groups like these hold." on monday, white house press secretary josh earnest said it's up to scalise's gop colleagues to decide if he faces consequences. >> it is the responsibility of individual members to decide who they want to elect as a leader of their conference. and surly, who does elected leaders are says a lot about to the conferences and what their priorities and values are, and they're going to have to answer for themselves whether or not elevating somebody who describes himself as david duke without the baggage reinforces the kind of message the house republican conference once project. >> as the house majority whip, steve scalise is the number three republican in the house of representatives and many colleagues have rallied to his defense. these include congresswoman mia love of utah, the first black woman elected to congress as a
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republican and one of the 74 new gop members to be sworn in today. on sunday, love spoke about scalise to abc's "this week." >> these groups are awful in the last thing i want to do is give them any sort of publicity or credibility. i can say is for i am concerned with the representative scalise has been wonderful to work with. he is been help offer me and had been support of -- has the support of his colleagues. what should he remain in leadership? >> i do. there's one quality i think is important in leadership and that is humility. he has shown that in this case and has apologized and i think we need to move on and get the work of the american people done. >> that is mia love. a longtime advisor to former ku klux klan leader david duke confirmed that he personally invited scalise to speak to the 2002 gathering of white supremacists.
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kenny knight told the washington post, scalise was his neighbor and came as a favor to him, and did not know about racial views of the organizers. he said -- "he agreed, believing it was going to be neighbors, friends and family. he saw me not as david duke's guy, but as the president of our civic association." well for more we head south to speak with mark potok, senior fellow at the southern poverty law center. he joins us from montgomery, alabama. his latest piece is headlined, "steve scalise's denials are not believable." welcome back to democracy now! why aren't they believable? >> thanks for having me, for starters. i mean, they are wildly unbelievable. worst of all, when steve scalise was in his 20's in a state representative, that was the peak of david duke's heyday. duke ran for senate in 1990. he ran for governor in 1991. in both cases, he got the majority of the white vote in louisiana.
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it was a huge international story. moreover, the person -- >> for young people, mark -- for young people who don't know who david duke is, can you talk about his history before he ran for public office? >> sure. duke, early on formed a major klan group called the knights of the ku klux klan. when he was still at lsu. as a student, he paraded in one instance and a few -- full nazi getup, carrying signs having to do the holocaust and so on. he later tried to shed his klan past. one organization was called the national organization for the defenseman of wine people -- white people and later something called no fear which then changed its name to euro. that was his latest. during this contest, especially
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the 1991 run for governor, a huge amount of reporting was done about duke's ties to various neo-nazi groups and beliefs and so on. it became very clear that it was simply false, that he put these beliefs behind him. while he is campaigning, he was still selling holocaust denial materials from his book store and so on. so i think it is certainly fair to say david duke was then and remains today the best-known what supremacist in the united states. >> i want to turn to a clip from a video promoting a 2005 euro conference, three years after scalise spoke. it begins with david duke, followed by two speakers expressing white supremacist views. >> this meeting is attended i leaders of european member organizations dedicated to our heritage freedom from all over the european-american world. >> one advantage we have over the jewish supremacists who
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oppose our people's awakening is there growth occurred either in numbers or power is severely restricted. ours is not. >> we are the white race. we of the ingenuity and the creativity to overcome anything they can put up against us. >> that is from a 2005 video about the euro conference were steve scalise spoke three years earlier. in a 2002 post on the neo-nazi website stormfront, a commenter who said he attended the euro conference praised scalise's speech. using the name "alsace hebert," the commenter wrote -- "representative scalise brought into sharp focus the dire circumstances pervasive in many important, under-funded needs of the community at the expense of graft within the housing and urban development fund, an apparent give-away to a selective group based on race." two years later, the same
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commenter expressed excitement that scalise would run for congress, writing -- "those that attended the euro conference in new orleans will recall that scalise was a speaker, offering his support for issues that are of concern to us." mark potok, can you talk about storefront and what this euro conferences and the likelihood that scalise did not know what it was? >> well, storefront first of all is the largest white supremacist web -- platform, run by former alabama klan leader. it is a huge form. it has claims to have something like 300,000 registered members and not all of them americans. it is quite something. euro, at the time, was in a sense the most important was supremacist organization around or was certainly trying to be that. it had collected many of the better known of leaders of what
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they would call the white nationalist movement with david duke at the core, as the sort of head. to go to the believability of scalise's claims, i think it is important to say that kenny knight, the person who invited him, has been lying to this entire episode. we know that because among other things, kenny knight made later claims to the paper in new orleans that what scalise had attended was not duke's meeting at all, not the euro meeting at all. yet attended a homeowners association meeting earlier that morning in the same space and on to say to reporters that he, scalise, and kenny knight then left. that is false. we know that because we have a picture of kenny knight at the euro conference giving the speech that was published in the david duke report. there's been a lot of effort on the part of kenny knight and others to essentially muddy the
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trail but as i said at the beginning, i think it is simply not believable that a politician like steve scalise at that time could possibly not have known what this meeting was. he knew kenny knight. david duke has explained himself the past few days that scalise new knight as duke's campaign manager. he knew he was going to a duke event. one of our staff members attended later euro meetings. they have all kinds of racist banners and flags in someone. i think the whole tale is nothing but that, fairytale. >> you also write about in terms of was it known, what euro represented at the time, that the iowa cubs, aaa team, were planning to stay at the best western landmark hotel in metairie, louisiana at the same time the national euro
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convention was taken place and the local new orleans team that was arranging the visiting team's accommodations actually switched hotels in part because euro was there? >> that's right. this may the local papers. in addition, a spokesman for the hotel itself took the trouble to go on local television and say that the hotel did not in any way agreed that he was a bureau. they did not understand with the organization was when it booked, and so on. so there was a lot of public putting of distance between various organizations and people and the duke organization will stop so i think that simply goes to the fact that euro was well known locally as an organization, an organization of david dukes. >> david duke says scalise is being singled out. speaking at fusion, he said --
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duke suggested he could release a list of names to politicians is connected to. in a follow-up interview with cnn, duke said we would name names from both main political parties. he said this week if he is crucified, i think that was his word choice, then you're going to name names. what are we talking about? >> i would name names and i know some democrats and republicans in the house of representatives who tried -- in fact, urged me to support them. proxy were singer members of congress today that it had relationships -- >> have had relationships with but but they choose to keep those private. you will call them out? >> i would call them out of their hypocritical. >> that was david duke speaking to cnn. mark potok, what you make of him climbing he has ties to petitions from both parties, democrats and republicans?
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>> i think you said in zechariah three that he had had ties. i think that is certainly not true -- at least, it is very unlikely. at the time around the turn-of-the-century, the millennium, there was quite a lot of content between politicians and various was a premises groups -- various groups. trent lott, former senator got into trouble over endorsing and speaking to and so on. i think it is probably true that there were a number of politicians in louisiana. duke had a real constituency. he earned and very selections 600,000 votes, white foes, and another 700,000 white votes. so the research he politicians who are interested if not in david duke personally, that his constituency. so we don't know what was in steve scalise's head in 2002 when he went to attend the euro conference. we don't know whether he had
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similar views or was simply trolling for votes. talks according to the long-term louisiana political reporter stephanie gray, steve scalise once described himself to her as "david duke without the baggage." in an interview, she recalled her first meeting with scalise saying -- can you comment on this? and finally, what you think should happen? right now, steve scalise is the number three power in the house of representatives as it begins today. he is the house majority whip. >> first of all, it wasn't a one-off claim. as to what should happen to scalise today, i mean, i think republican party, if it is been remotely honest in terms of trying to reach out to
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minorities, which it has made an awful lot of noise about the last couple of years it seems obvious that they ought to get rid of scalise. i think he has been given a pass because we don't happen to have video of whatever it was that he said at the euro meeting. because there is a little bit of shakiness in exactly when he spoke and so on. so he is being allowed to get away with this. i mean, to me, if the republicans have any kind of earnestness and the repeated statements that they are looking to enlarge what is becoming a narrower and narrower party, this would be the move to make but they seem quite unwilling to make. part of the reason for that is that steve scalise is in the republican house leadership in part as a kind of outreach to key party republicans and so on. after all, scalise is a man who on a couple of different occasions, was a very lonely
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voter against the martin luther king holiday back in 1999 and 2004 as well. he was one of three in one case in one of six in another case. representatives who voted against that bill. >> mark potok, thank you for being with us. senior fellow at the southern poverty law center, where his latest piece for their hate watch blog is headlined, "steve scalise's denials are not believable." we'll link to it on our website. when we come back, we will talk about mexico and new revelations about who was involved in the disappearance of 43 students. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with aaron maté. >> president obama is meeting with mexican president enrique peña nieto at the white house today. the two leaders will "highlight the importance of expanding dialogue and cooperation between the u.s. and mexico on economic, security and social issues." however, human rights groups
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want obama to press the mexican government on its failure to investigate and prosecute abuses by state security forces. two recent atrocities have drawn international media attention and sparked large-scale protests in mexico. the first was the killing of 22 people by soldiers in tlat-laya, mexico state, in june. the second was the disappearance of 43 students in iguala guerrero, in september. since 2007, the united states has provided mexico more than $2 billion in funding through the merida initiative, a joint us-mexico effort to combat organized crime. 15% of that aid is suppose to be contingent on mexico meeting human rights guarantees, but president obama has already signaled he won't push peña nieto on the issue. >> meanwhile, and explosive investigative report says federal authorities were involved in the disappearance and killing of the 43 students. the report was published in the mexican magazine and called "iguala: the unofficial story,"
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, it directly contradicts mexican government claims that they were unaware of what happened. according to the report, federal authorities likely tortured key witnesses who offered critical testimony for an investigation by the mexican attorney general's office into the disappearances. well, for more, we go now to berkeley, california where we're joined by the authors of the new exposé, anabel hernandez and steve fisher. they are both fellows at the investigative reporting program at uc berkeley graduate school of journalism. anabel hernandez is a mexican investigative reporter who was awarded the 2012 golden pen of freedom award. her latest book, "narcoland: the mexican drug lords and their godfathers" was recently published in english. we welcome you both to democracy now! anabel, you're really in exile here fearing for your life in mexico. talk about this explosive exposé on who you believe was involved in the missing students in the case -- in the case of the missing students. >> good morning. as you know, the official story
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is that the attack against the students in the disappearance of the 43 students just were involved the local government. the major and his police. a what we found in documents testimonies and also in a video is the federal police and the federal government was also involved, not just in the attack, but also [indiscernible] that shows the attack was planned, wasn't an accident, wasn't something casual. it was very planned. >> anabel hernandez, at one point, your report is a come to buy a short compilation of videos that students took on her cell phone side of the attack. voices shout thomas "don't shoot" and "get down" in spanish. toward the end of the video, the students quietly talk to each
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other, saying, "the police are leaving, the federal [police] are going to stay. they're going to hassle us." let's go to part of that video compilation. >> don't shoot. don't shoot. careful, careful. they are ready killed one. call the ambulance. call the ambulance. the police are leaving. the federal police are going to stay. they're going to hassle us. why did they shoot? why did they shoot? >> it is chilling, anabel hernandez. can you describe what you understand happened on that night of september 26 last year? >> well, what happened was at 6:00 p.m., the students left the school to go to the road to
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kidnap some buses. to go to mexico city. then when they arrived -- the federal police was waiting for them and were monitoring them. then they went to the bus station to take some buses, and at the end of the day there were five buses. into buses, the students take one way and another three buses the students took another way. the federal police and the municipal of police attacked the students in the three buses in the middle of the city of iguala. it wasn't true the version of the federal government that in that moment, the mayor and his wife was in a political meeting
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in that moment in downtown. that was false. what we found is the -- the only finished two hours before the attack. so when the students crossed downtown into iguala, the mayor and his wife was there. at the end of the street, the menace of all police closed us the municipal police close to the road and stopped the three buses and the federal police arrived. at the moment of the attack there were two buses, but now the federal government, the official government just accused the municipal police of hiding the participation of the federal police. >> as we said you are alleging complicity at a high level. what evidence do you have?
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what are you basing this report on? >> we have access to the investigation that makes the government of guerrero. we have access to all the files. i mean, the first testimonies that the students gave to the authorities just a few hours after the attack. i'm in, the very fresh testimonies. in these testimonies, the students very clear said that the federal police participate in attack. also, we have access to the criminal file of the attorney general office. in these files, you can see all the contradictions, but also you can see how the government [indiscernible] the most important witness to create the official version. and also, we have testimonies of the people that was in that street when the attack happened.
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we went to iguala. we talked with many people. because where the attack occurred in the street it was many business, local business -- pharmacy and drug stores restaurants, bars, that kind of business. we were neighbors, many neighbors. and we were able to talk with these people and with the students about what really happened that night. >> steve fisher, you did a report along with anabel hernandez [captioning made possible by democracy now!] . explain further what we just saw and heard in this video and then what happened to the witnesses how you know that eyewitnesses were tortured. >> what you see in the video in addition to what you mentioned amy, where they speak of the federal police harass -- likely to harass the students, in addition, further on in the video, they are yelling at the police. and in the video, it is
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important to note you don't see the police clearly, but they are essentially yelling at them saying, why are you picking up the gun shells? you know that you're guilty, why are you picking up these gun shells? i think that further shows the efforts of the police that night to cover up exactly what they did. in regards to the witnesses that were tortured, we have the medical examination of these witnesses that show there were severe beatings, brutal, brutal beatings including electric shocks to various parts of the body and then we also have the documentation of the same witnesses denouncing this torture prior to the testimony and it should be noted that the officials that tortured these individuals were the marines the military, and the federal police.
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>> anabel, the motive in your view for this attack? the students were from a very politically engaged school. was that a factor in what you think they were targeted? -- in why you think there were targeted? >> you have to really understand what is the meaning of this school. this school, from this school, one of the members of this school -- he was a member [indiscernible] these students still having that spirit in mexico. if you went to that school and you get in their circle, you can see that these students really believe in these kinds of protests, you know? this attack against them, it
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wasn't the first. the federal police have been threatening the students for several years. in 2011, students closed the road between mexico and a couple go. the federal police arrived. they just start to shoot them. the federal police killed two students. after the attack in december 2011, it was proven the federal police took some students, tortured them, hid them, and to make them confess that they was the responsibility -- that they have the responsibility and the murder. >> we have less than a minute to go and i want to ask in today's meeting between the mexican president peña nieto and obama in washington, what do you want to see happen? you each have 15 seconds.
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>> it is important to consider in these last four years since the plan was signed, the money of the government of the u.s. has been empowering these federal police, the malicious and also -- militias, and also they don't want to respect the human rights in mexico and the abuse of their force against society. i think the u.s. government has to ask about this. >> steve? >> it is clear the attorney general and the president of mexico are unable to bring this case and bring justice for the families. i believe today when president peña nieto meets with obama, i think it is import for obama to encourage and insist on an open
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investigation along with international community. >> we want to thank you both for being with us, anabel hernandez and steve fisher. we willing to the report on democracynow.org >>
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